Background: Existing cardiac disease contributes to poor outcome in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Little information exists regarding COVID-19 infection in patients with a cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED).
Objectives: To assess the association between CIEDs and severity of COVID-19 infection.
Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis including 13,000 patients > 18 years old with COVID-19 infection between January and December 2020. Patients with COVID-19 who had a permanent pacemaker or defibrillator were matched 1:4 based on age and sex followed by univariate and multivariate analyses. Baseline characteristics and clinical outcomes were assessed.
Results: Forty patients with CIED and 160 patients without CIED were included in the current analysis. Mean age was 72.6 ± 13 years, and approximately 50% were females. Majority of the patients in the study arm had a pacemaker (63%), whereas only 15 patients (37%) had a defibrillator. Patients with COVID-19 and CIED presented more often with atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, heart failure, hypertension, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. They were more likely to be hospitalized in the intensive care unit (ICU) and required more ventilatory support (35% vs. 18.3%). Thirty-day mortality (22.5% vs. 13.8%) and 1-year mortality (25% vs. 15%) were higher among patients with COVID-19 and CIED.
Conclusions: Patients with COVID-19 and CIED had a significantly higher prevalence of co-morbidities that were associated with increased mortality. Although,CIED by itself was not found as an independent risk factor for morbidity and mortality, it may serve as a warning for severe illness with COVID-19.